The recent eclipse was stunning. I happened to be standing on the beach in Santa Monica when it occurred. Even though the Sun was only 2/3 eclipsed by the moon, its impact manifested all around me. The light flattened, the air cooled, and the wind picked up as though it cascaded down from the moon's shadow. Through special glasses I saw the Sun become a crescent, as in the past, I had only seen the moon become when it was in a position to reflect a fraction of the Sun's light. Now the Sun was appearing crescent like, as the moon blocked all but a third of its light from reaching my location. That's what my logical mind said. It uses rational materialism to explain what it encounters. But the experience roared down at me from the sky and stimulated another part of myself. It made me question the reality behind an inanimate object(the moon)blocking the radiance of a star releasing energy through from the most stunning process in physical existence. Pure energy being released from the bonds of the matter that contains it, into it's radiant form.
A human life at it's core is the same kind of expression of energy that a star is. A pure expression of natural energy and intelligence and intention. I suspect that there is some unconscious understanding of this in the expression of extraordinary human expression in our use of the word star. A "Rock Star,' a "Movie Star, a "Pop Star", a "Rap Star," "A Superstar." All call to mind some unfettered expression that makes its way to our awareness in its purest form.
We all arrive attempting to express ourselves in our purest, most unfettered form. To what degree we are successful is probably determined by how we are mirrored by our environment. That environment could be our parents capacity to see us and celebrate us for who we are, or that environment could be a culture that values our gifts and provides us encouragement to express what is ours uniquely to express.
In the East(Taoism, Hinduism and Buddhism) the Impediments you encountered in your full self expression could be seen as the result of karma(or in the case of Taoism conditioning). You encounter an environment that reflects back to you perfectly the distance between you and clear understanding of a transcendent reality and your place in it. Your circumstances, your family, your culture, and their capacity to mirror you back to you is proportional to your own understanding, or lack thereof. In the West, we see ourselves more as a construct of our environment, a psychodynamic response to plain and pleasure. I myself have always loved Jung's theories( and subsequently Astrology) cause they utilize aspects of both conceptual systems.
Jung believed, as do I, that there is a Primordial Self. That it exists outside of physical space and time. A natural intelligence that is expressed by you, just as a natural intelligence expresses itself in the creation of a Lion or a Sequoia Tree. In each case, a natural intelligence creates the best Lion, or best Sequoia as an ambassador for that intelligence in the physical world. If that Sequoia is growing in a forest that provides it the nutrients and environment it requires, it's going to grow to be one of the biggest trees in the world. If that Lion is born on the African Savannah with lots of animals to eat, and no imbeciles shooting high powered rifles at it, it's gonna be a pretty spectacular expression of a Lion.
But as humans, we have different challenges, and different resources. If we find ourselves in an environment where our full self expression is not welcome, than we may choose to express ourselves in a compromised manner that receives more favor. We compromise our natural selves to accommodate the expectations of those we rely on for love. Oftentimes, parents ask this of us unconsciously, by not having the capacity to recognize or value our purest self expressions because of their own limitations and struggles. Sometimes the rejection of our purest selves can be the result of envy for not having access to that experience in those observing it. Once we are no longer living with our families we may take the baton from them and continue to judge ourselves by the same limited understanding of our totality.
When this happens, some of our gifts and our joys can be tucked away in our Shadow. Many think of "The Shadow" as the place where the rejected parts of our ego(our conditioned self) that are bad. Rage, hatred, bigotry, envy, these are the sorts of things our ego(which forms in response to our environment) says are unwelcome. But there is gold there, too. We often put our most profound gifts and joys away when the Primordial Self arrives and finds no takers for its gifts. This is the same sort of tragedy as a Sequoia Tree being cut down by loggers, or a Lion being killed senselessly by a trophy hunter. It puts us in a position where the purest and most valuable expression of The Primordial Self does not get incarnated.
As humans, we have the resource of consciousness. We can contemplate and explore our historical origins to see how they allowed us to thrive in our SELF EXPRESSION and how they didn't. We can see how we were conditioned to reject parts of ourselves that are actually really useful and life confirming. As an act of recognition of the Solar Eclipse, I would suggest everyone who reads this should contemplate what pure expressions of THE PRIMORDIAL SELF haven't made it to full expression yet? What un-selfconscious joys have we buried in our Shadow with the other aspects of ourselves that we thought to be unwelcome? Find one, and begin to express it, and I guarantee it will add a surprising and unexpected vitality to your life TODAY. After you experience the utility of that, find another, then another. That's what the eclipse was, and continues to be about. Use it for yourself. Use it for others.